Tri-Valley ballet company Valley Dance Theatre has announced its 2023 spring showcase that is set to bring fairytales and carnivals alive through dance this holiday weekend.
The group will perform pieces from the ballet classics "Sleeping Beauty" and "Carnival of the Animals" for its 2023 Spring Rep shows. Set for this Saturday (May 27) at 7 p.m. and Sunday (May 28) at 2 p.m. at the Bankhead Theater in Livermore, both shows will be accompanied by a live pit orchestra.
Throughout the year VDT plans for two main shows -- a full professionally staged production and its Spring Rep show. The group has said it draws from both classic and contemporary styles of dance.
"Sleeping Beauty" takes audience members to meet Princess Aurora in a fairytale-like setting that is set to music by famous composer Tchaikovsky.
"Carnival of the Animals" by composer Saint-Saëns is a show that displays over 40 dancing creatures, such as elephants, kangaroos and swans, according to VDT officials.
"Both 'Carnival of the Animals' and 'Sleeping Beauty' are among the most elaborately costumed ballets in our repertoire," VDT artistic director Betsy Hausburg said in a press release. "'Carnival' has four different costume designers and 'Sleeping Beauty' has eight custom-made tutus alone, many showcasing the beauty and creativity of our acclaimed designer Caryne Mount."
Award-winning costume designer Mount began working with VDT in 2001 after connecting with Hausburg. A former Livermore resident now residing in Oregon, Mount spent over 100 hours on construction, detail and design work for the 2023 Spring Rep.
Although she has moved from the area, Mount returns to Livermore often for VDT performances and to aid in costume design.
"The right tutu elevates the dancing, and the dancer needs to be comfortable in costume," Hausburg said of Mount's work.
"We believe this colorful celebration will delight both the young and young-at-heart and we look forward to treating our audiences to fairytale magic and a marvelous carnival of animals," Hausburg added.
Hausburg originally co-founded VDT in 1980 with fellow local ballet dancer Penny Tomasello. Their mission was to provide affordable, high-quality ballet to the Tri-Valley region. In the years since, Hausburg has continued to serve as artistic director and choreographer for the group.
To find out more about VDT and the Spring Rep, visit www.valleydancetheatre.com.